South London Photographer: Something a bit different

So after nearly 11 years of being woken before dawn most mornings my body is now trained to wake at 5.30 or thereabouts.  Often I go back to sleep but there are days when that just doesn’t seem possible.  So last week I actually got up, dragged on several layers of clothes, picked up a couple of cameras and a tripod and set out to the local common to take photographs at dawn.  I’d always said I’d do that when I wasn’t so tired from baby-dom anymore and perhaps I’ve reached that stage.  They do say the first two years are the most exhausting and Son No 3 is very nearly at his third birthday; by which time, usually the world opens again and space for stuff other than your fast-growing infant begins to materialise – woohoo!

Photographing landscapes at dawn is a new experience for me and there is a lot to learn but I was really lucky to have ice on the pond last week which made for some really interesting patterns and textures – something I like, although I’m not sure if such things will sell.  We’ll have to see.  Some of the photographs I took are a little too ‘Disneyfied’ for my tastes but there are two or three that I’m thinking about printing, framing and selling.  I think I have to wait and see how I feel about them in a while – seems that’s the best way to edit this sort of thing.

In fact, I enjoyed myself so much last week I went again this morning.  No ice this time but some fabulous Canada Geese having an argument and leaving some great waves of water behind them as they landed on the pond, which was great to see regardless of anything else.  Sadly, I didn’t end up with photographs I’m that happy with this week but as I say it’s a learning experience and I will certainly be out again at that time of day before long. Turns out I love early mornings; who knew?  Off I trot whilst the kids are still sleeping, spend a couple of hours on my own listening to the birds singing at dawn, doing what I love doing, and back home via the shop to buy bacon by 8.30 having done a load of work before the day has even begun.  What more can you ask for?

To be able to climb back into bed without being mauled by a small person would be nice, but admittedly he told me he loved me and that I have hot boobies as he lay on my chest stroking my face  – so perhaps it’s not so bad after all.  (Incidentally, just in case there is any confusion, he means hot as in very warm because a) he’s my son, b) he’s two, and c) he’s not yet been indoctrinated by our society’s fetishism for female mammary glands and has never heard of page 3!  And I think it’s fair to say I have never had hot boobies in the alternative sense.)

Enjoy half-term.  We’re off to visit friends where my feral brood get to be free-range too and run around in the one of the biggest gardens I’ve ever seen until way after dark screaming and laughing and occasionally beating each-other up, and I get to sit down and drink glasses of wine with my friends while the boys are thoroughly occupied. Bliss!

Before I go, thanks for all the lovely feedback on last week’s post about old family photographs.  Always gratifying to hear.

Have fun and remember I am offering a 5% discount off the full price of a family shoot at the moment to anyone who shares this or any other of my posts via social networking sites.  (Terms & Conditions apply – see prices page of my website)

A reflection in a semi-frozen pond on Wandsworth Common, London. I like the abstract painterly aspect of this image – many of the images I took last week and this morning don’t really do it for me taste-wise. I’m still learning to express myself my way but I think I might quite like this one… perhaps slightly lighter, but I do like a  bit of darkness.  We’ll see!


Image (c)Sarah-Jane Field 2015




Wandsworth family photographer

untitled-0647 untitled-0654 untitled-0664

I was quite worried the other day when I was asked to do some photographs at midday as the family needed the photos in a rush and that was the only time they could all get together in time.  The forecast predicted the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and so I was rather grateful for the hazy overcast clouds which stayed until we’d finished!  Without this cloud cover the strong shadows would have caused all sorts of issues and we’d have had far less choices available to us.  So that was good!  Nevertheless I realised that I will do my best in future to convince clients that early mornings and late afternoons or early evenings are the best time for lovely light.  Not sure how appealing this is for families.  As a mother myself  the thought of getting my brood together first thing would be rather daunting and who can guarantee a pleasant mood at the end of the day from any of us?  However, I know how much difference good light can make to these sorts of photographs.  I wonder how insistent other photographers are when choosing a time with clients.  Would love to hear about it.  In any event, the family are very happy with their photographs and I hope the gifts they are planning will go down well – that I guess is the most important thing!

I should probably add that using a lighting set up with large reflectors is probably the obvious answer  but I am convinced that this ends up making the whole process more daunting and less relaxing for people who aren’t used to and may not like having their photographs taken.